Controlling energy level alignements at carbon nanotube/Au contacts

The properties of the contacts between single wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) and Au electrodes are studied using scanning Kelvin probe and electrostatic force microscopies. Contact potential differences and local dipoles at the SWNT/Au interface are determined under various conditions involving gas adsorption and surface passivation. In particular, the effects of co-adsorption of alkanethiol, S, and O2 are explored in detail. We find that the co-adsorbates alter the energy level line-up at the contacts and induce significant shifts of the SWNT bands relative to the metal Fermi level. This behavior is explained by considering the response of the local Au work function to the presence of the nanotube and of the co-adsorbates as well as the effects of the adsorbate dipoles near the contacts. Finally, we use coadsorption to control the Schottky barrier height at the nanotube-Au contacts.

By: Cui Xaiodong, Freitag Marcus, Richard Martel, Brus Louis, Phaedon Avouris

Published in: Nano Letters, volume 3, (no 6), pages 783-7 in 2003

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